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GET TO KNOW: CHRIS WARD Role at TSC: Co-Founder & Program Director

Role at TSC: Co-Founder & Program Director

Hometown: Bradenton, FL

Chris Ward is one of the co-founders of The Skills Center, a role that for him is about much more than just work. To him, it’s about passion and purpose. Chris’s passion for sports, particularly basketball, started at a young age. He played throughout his childhood, was a standout player at Bradenton Southeast, and eventually played professionally in Europe for several years. His storied career in the game also goes far beyond the court. Chris coached at IMG Academy, St. Leo and Hillsborough Community College, before coaching the champion boys’ basketball team at Hillsborough High School in Tampa. In fact, he was even named Hillsborough County Coach of the Year twice during his tenure there. Concurrently, Chris’s purpose of helping others also began at a young age. His father was responsible for running all juvenile detention centers in Sarasota County, and would bring Chris and his younger brother to play with the children at the facilities. Chris says he learned to never judge someone based on the mistakes they made – a critical life lesson he says he holds as his standard in co- founding and coaching at The Skills Center each and every day. Chris loves working with kids, mentoring them, and playing a significant role in their lives. The Skills Center isn’t just a name – what’s behind it is his unwavering passion and purpose of fueling a greater impact through sports in the local Tampa Bay community.

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